FORDS AT LARGE: Ross Burrows is keen to find others with an appreciation for Ford Falcons. Photo Troy Baker D8702-13

THE Whakatane Ford Falcon Club is on the lookout for new members, along, of course, with their cars.

Ross Burrows, a founding member when the club was launched nine years ago, says while membership has fluctuated over the years, with the group now actively seeking more members, there’s been no diminishing of enthusiasm amongst club members.

“We have a lot of fun,” Ross says. “We’re not an incorporated club with fees and so on.

We’re just a group of Falcon owners that all love cars.”

He says the club meets on the first Sunday of each month, gathering at the Whakatane Heads Coastguard carpark with their cars at 10am before heading out for what Ross says is typically a big part of the day. “We just decide where we’re going to go and cruise off.”

Travelling around the coast, to Opotiki or to Rotorua, or to “wherever we feel like going,” he says the group stop for a cafe lunch or meet at a pre-planned spot for a picnic or barbecue before cruising off on a further expedition that often includes back roads. “We’ll usually visit something of interest along the way, too.”

“There’s always a lot of lifting up of bonnets and a lot of talking car talk,” Ross says. “It’s always fun. We’re a family-oriented club and we all enjoy it.”

He says the club also takes part in events held by other local clubs, the classic and vintage car clubs, with those clubs also joining the Ford Falcon Club on their annual run to Te Kaha.

“We tend to join each other in various things and certainly for any fundraising events.”

“We had a meet-up with the Gisborne American Car Club recently,” Phil says, with the two clubs meeting at a point in the Waioeka Gorge for a barbecue lunch.

The Whakatane Ford Falcon Club was started in 2010 by Garyth Arago-Kemp, the current club president. “We had 10 founding members,” Ross says. “Membership has gone up and down since then. It always changes but at the moment we’re down to five consistently active members and we’d like more.

“Owners of any of the big American, English or Australian Fords are welcome.”

He says there are currently two Mustangs within the club, a two-door, hard-top Ford Torino, a couple of hard-top Falcon Coupes, a 2007 GT and a 2007 XR8.

“We’ve got older Falcons and newer ones, but we’d love to see some 80s and 90s cars join us. We’ve had Fairlanes and a Mark 3 Zephyr in the past, and we had a GT Falcon Cobra join us briefly that we’d like to see back too.”

And of the age-old rivalry between a Ford owner and the owner of a Holden, Ross smiles.

“There’s always a lot of banter about that but it’s a friendly thing, really.

“My good friend has a Holden for example, and I think it’s a very nice car. In fact, I wish Whakatane had a Holden Car Club, too.

“At the end of the day we just all love cars, but in our club, Falcons are the cars we love the most.”

The Whakatane Ford Falcon Club has a Facebook page, and can be contacted through Ross, on 07 3089855, or Garyth, 07 3049900.